Wednesday 13 June 2018

Mac' and "Cheese"

mac and cheese

Whenever I'm asked what my essential piece of kitchen equipment is, I answer a food processor. In reality, I love my kitchen gadgets and there are others which some may consider non-essential but which I use so regularly that it's hard to contemplate being in the kitchen without them (my citrus rasp is up there on the list of "can't-live-withouts"!). That said, a food processor really will make this way of eating an absolute breeze. It's hard to imagine being without one. I love the versatility of what can be created using a food processor. Aside from handy time savers such as grater attachments, the standard blade makes light work of creating raw desserts & treats, energy balls, pestos, dressings, hummus and other dips, falafels and burgers, and pasta sauces such as this vegan friendly "cheese" sauce.

This Mac' and Cheese is creamy, flavourful and indulgent. I've always thought of Mac' and Cheese as the ultimate comfort food- perhaps in part because of its nostalgic quality. This is no exception- although it has added feel good factor thanks to the inclusion of B12 rich nutritional yeast. What's more, it packs in a hidden vegetable through the butternut squash but I sometimes add a handful or two of spinach to up my intake (the lemon juice in the sauce will help in the absorption of iron from the spinach too). Normally, I'm all for mindful eating but this dish begs to be eaten slovenly in comfy clothes whilst having a relaxing evening!

Three great health benefits: boosts immunity, beneficial for digestive health, beneficial for bone health

Serves 2
Enjoy immediately

75g cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight and drained & rinsed
125g butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
250g brown rice macaroni or penne pasta
1 clove garlic
6 tbsp almond milk (I always use unsweetened)
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp turmeric
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Sweet paprika

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Place the butternut squash in a roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes.
3) Boil the pasta in a large saucepan as per the packet instructions. Drain and return to the saucepan.
4) While the pasta is cooking, whizz together the cashews, butternut squash, garlic, almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, turmeric and salt & pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
5) Pour the "cheese" sauce over the pasta and stir to thoroughly combine. Sprinkle with a little paprika to serve.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

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